New Britain, CT - The Rock Cats toppled the Binghamton Mets by the score of 6-1 on Sunday afternoon at New Britain Stadium. Rock Cats players and coaches, as well as youngsters from all around the state came out early to the ballpark for a pre-game clinic and then the professionals put the lessons into action, completing the three-game weekend sweep of the visiting Mets affiliate.
Early on it was a duel between southpaws - New Britain's LHP Pat Dean and B-Mets LHP Alex Panteliodis, who arrived to the ballpark just hours before the game after being called up from Single-A St. Lucie.
The 0-0 draw was broken in the bottom half of the fourth when 1B Kennys Vargas hit a single up the middle to bring home LF Tony Thomas and then the flood gates opened for New Britain. The Rock Cats put up five runs on six hits, knocking out Panteliodis who had pitched very well up until the hit parade came rolling through. The biggest one of them all was a bases-clearing double from CF Mike Kvasnicka, who ended up taking third on the throw. He scored during the following at-bat when C Kyle Knudson singled out to left field, giving New Britain the 5-0 lead.
Binghamton took one back in the top half of the fifth as 3B Nelfi Zapata, who led off the inning with a double, scored on a throwing error committed by Vargas.
The visitors appeared as if they would score at least one more in the sixth with DH Matt Clark leading off with a double and then a single from RF Travis Taijeron but a tremendous throw to the plate from Kvasnicka beat Clark and prevented the run from scoring.
The Rock Cats tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI triple from RF Reynaldo Rodriguez, scoring Thomas for his second run of the game. Tony reached base on a lead-off single up the middle off of Binghamton reliever LHP Adam Kolarek.
Dean did his part in keeping the Rock Cats right in the game, allowing no earned runs over 5 2/3 innings of work. The lefthander scattered seven hits while walking three and striking out four. His record improves to 3-2.
Panteliodis was called up on an emergency basis after scheduled starter RHP Greg Peavey was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. The lefthander went 3 2/3 innings in his Eastern League debut, ultimately tagged with the loss (0-1). The 23 year old was touched for five runs, all earned, on seven hits while walking two and striking out two.
Monday will be an off-day for the Cats and then they will host the Akron RubberDucks for a three-game series starting with a 6:35 p.m. contest on Tuesday evening.